By process of elimination, Keion Brooks is the voice and the leader among the players in the Kentucky basketball locker room going into the 2020-21 season. Only a sophomore, Brooks is the one player back from last year’s team with any basketball experience, the one player with any real media experience, he’s a member of the NABC Player Development Coalition, and on Friday he was called on to represent his team on the issue of the social injustices around our country and how things have gotten so bad, athletes can no longer remain quiet.
One day after his classmates across campus boycotted football practice, the 20-year old Brooks took questions from the media about his beliefs and if he and his teammates plan to stage their own protest so their feelings are heard too. It has been discussed behind closed doors, Brooks admitted, but nothing has been decided. “We have some things we are working on.”
Whatever happens in that regard, Brooks wants fans to remember that he and his teammates, and all athletes for that matter, are human beings with morals and beliefs just like anyone else. “I think people have a difficult time separating the athletes from the sports that they play,” he said, “just because I represent Kentucky basketball and go out and play in Rupp Arena, that does not mean I’m not a person that has moral, values and opinions and views of certain things.
“We’re people that have strong views on topics, just like the fans do. I think they just want us to go out there and entertain them for an hour or two and then just shut up, but that’s not going to work. That’s not how this is.”
Hear his full comments below:
The request to change Rupp Arena also came up in the conversation, to which Brooks said, “Being honest, I haven’t educated myself enough on Adolph Rupp, or the whole situation at hand to really give my thoughts on it, but from what I do know, I would like to see a name change, just basically because what his name is and what that’s connected to and what it kind of represents. That’s really all I can say, but I would like to see a name change.”